I really meant to write about him much earlier, but the problem was choosing which picture (out of hundreds) to post.
My final shortlist is 31...obviously way too many for one post. Here's a random selection. Still a photo-blitz, but please bear with his besotted shutterbug bore of a mom!
Above: Soon after arrival, 24 October 2011. He weighed 1.7 kilos.
Above: The first day
Above, below: The day after adoption, the games begin. Kimaya was initially nervous of him, but she soon got over that.
Above: Trophy - a fallen leaf from one of our teak trees
Above: Doing the patio steps on his own on his second trip to Nagaon. When we adopted him he still couldn't gauge distances or depth so we used to carry him up and down.
Above: Meeting with Brownie. A very important occasion. Brownie marked many sofas and curtains after this historic event. He's never done that before and I'm rather hoping he won't do it again.
Above: Kimaya, Brownie look into the middle distance with noble expressions. Kiba looks only at the dried leaf he is guzzling. Noble expressions appear later in INDogs.
Above: Between six and seven weeks. His first collar! Also the day of his first distemper+parvo combo vaccine.
Above: Ears lifting...
Above: Play bow. They both love tug games. Kiba invites Kimaya to play by picking up one of his toys and wagging it about in front of her. Several toys have been dismantled and unstuffed during their tug games. These are some of the few that have survived.
Above: They love each other, they really do.
Above: The blue giraffe was still intact when this was clicked, but it's kind of prophetic that you can only see its head in the picture. Because some weeks later its head, body and insides were all separated from each other with surgical precision. Like Humpty Dumpty it could never be put back together again.
Above: Nagaon, 30 November, 9 weeks old
Above: 5 December - one ear up
Above: Snarls and growls
Above: This morning, 26 December. The right ear has been up since yesterday, with just a little bit still to firm up near the tip. Is this a noble expression, or am I just partial?
Above: I made goat-noises at him to get this expression.
How he was adopted:
We wanted a companion for Kimaya, but this time I was determined to adopt a highway pup or a village pup. I make a lot of road trips and there has rarely been even one on which I didn't see road-kill. I wanted to take at least one dog away from that dangerous life.
Since INDogs have seasonal synchronized breeding during the late monsoon months, winter is "puppy season" and there are dozens of little ones all along the highways. On 24 October Kiran, Kimaya and I were on our way to Nagaon when we saw a brown nursing female standing next to a modest roadside shop, one of those shacks that sell biscuits and potato chips. It was right next to the Alibag bypass road.
I hopped out of the car to ask the shopkeeper whether the dog was his, when another nursing female appeared, a black-and-tan one this time. The shopkeeper said they weren't his but he was feeding them and both bitches had kept their puppies in a sheltered space next to the shop.
I saw nine pups; the man said there were 14 in all!
Though I prefer females I had to take a male because Kimaya doesn't get on well with females. (Lalee of course was an exception because she was senior and the leader; Kimaya loved her).
I chose a plump light brown male and took him to the car. He was fast asleep and didn't wake even when picked up.
He really looked too small to take away from his mother, so at first I suggested to the man that I could pick him up a few days later on our way back to town. But he and his assistant almost begged me to take the pup at once, and I can't blame them: they were just a few feet from a busy highway. Moreover it was Diwali week, when panic-stricken dogs often dash onto the street and get hit by cars.
The pup looked just about one month old, perhaps a day or two short, so we decided he must have been born around 24 September.
Luckily he could eat soft mashed up solids. Obviously he had never fed himself before, but he learned in a few seconds how to do it. The next day our driver picked up puppy formula milk and vitamin drops from the vet and came down to Nagaon on the ferry, so Kiba didn't have to wait for those.
He was named after a character in the anime series Wolf's Rain. I read that kiba means "fang" in Japanese. And it goes well with "Kimaya" and "Kiran" (the last being the husband).
Of course he has all sorts of silly nicknames as well. A recent one is "Pizzpot Gargravarr." Yes, toilet-training has been a challenge, but we shall overcome in the end.
Kiba has also been a movie star from an early age, so expect a video-blitz sometime soon. But be warned: there is lots of gratuitous violence.
Over to some other dogs now!
Here's an earlier post on adoption of highway dogs.
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